Dear Black America:
It was good to have you visit, and to lay eyes on you and give you a wide-open embrace. I love you in all your hues, and do’s and views.
I admire your tenacity, creativity, and innovation. I remember you, and I celebrate your valor, swagger, intellect, and style. You have done all of us honor, and made our country greater than it might have been. I am proud of you.
I hope you can see, from the care we have given in preparation of your visit, that we deeply appreciate you.
It is our privilege to welcome all visitors. But your company is especially cherished. Please, don’t let too much time pass, before I see you again.
With all, due, fondness,
National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Countdown to the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the historic March on Washington
“Slowly the tempo rose. By 10, the inpouring was tremendous. This went on for two hours. The great crush of humanity on the monument grounds spilled over…and edged westward like a great lava flow.”
-Joseph A. Loftus, New York Times
~U.S. National Archives document 541998
~U.S. Department of Transportation. Highway History, The Road to Civil Rights. Getting to the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.
18 Days to go!
The Deputy Director of the March was Bayard Rustin a talented organizer with a diverse background of activism for economic justice, peace efforts and human rights. Born in 1912, he was raised as a Quaker in West Chester, Pennsylvania and had an early exposure to the work of the NAACP.
Rustin attended Wilberforce and Cheyney State Teacher’s College (both Historically Black Colleges) and later City College of New York but never obtained an academic degree. He was an organizer for the Young Communist League in the late 30’s, a staunch ally of labor, worked with A. Philip Randolph on hiring inequities for Black Americans during World War II and was later jailed when he refused to register for the draft.. Rustin was also openly gay.
Rustin, a student of Gandhi’s tactics of non-violent resistance became Martin Luther King Jr.’s advisor and ally in 1956 during the Montgomery Bus Boycott developing strategies of civil disobedience for the burgeoning civil rights movement. Continue reading